WASHINGTON, D.C. — Hard-hitting ex-beltholder Kendall Holt weighed exactly 140-pounds on Thursday, the junior welterweight limit for Friday night’s clash with IBF beltholder Lamont Peterson, who was 139.4 at The Grand Hyatt Hotel in Northwest Washington, D.C.
Although Holt (28-5, 16 knockouts) admitted having to lose as much as eight pounds since Tuesday and as much as 22 total since camp commenced, the 31-year-old from Paterson, N.J., said past issues with stamina will not surface against Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KOs), a 29-year-old who will be making his first defense at The D.C. Amory on ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights.
During his July 2008 rematch with Torres, who entered their return bout with a mark of 32-1 that included 29 knockouts, Holt rose from two knockdowns and scored one of his own during a 61-second bout.
Holt wound up winning by stoppage victory over Torres to avenge his earlier setback and earn the WBO’s 140-pound belt.
Holt was out of the ring for an 11-month span after falling to Mabuza, but rebounded from that loss with a first-round stoppage of Lenin Arroyo in January of 2011.
Holt’s two, route-going losses were to current WBO welterweight beltholder Tim Bradley and current RING, WBA and WBC 140-pound champion Danny Garcia, who owns a fourth-round knockout victory over Khan from July of last year.
Holt twice dropped Bradley to the canvas before losing his WBO 140-pound title by unanimous decision in April of 2009. Since then, however, Holt has since gone 3-2 with three stoppage victories.
But Holt insists that he has discovered some consistency in experienced trainer, Jesse Reid, whom he believes will help him end Peterson’s run of 3-0-1 with two knockouts since falling by unanimous decision to Bradley as a junior welterweight in December of 2009.
“He’s very professional. He reminds me of a Gaby Canizales. He’s got every angle down that there is and every trick,” said Reid.
“He’s a great puncher. I’m excited about working with him. And I’ll tell you, he’s in shape, and he ain’t running out of gas. I’ve had 23 world champions, and Kendall’s right up there with the best of them.”
Peterson bounced back from the loss to Bradley with a seventh-round stoppage of Damian Fuller in April of 2010 that was followed by a majority draw with Victor Ortiz in December of that year during which Peterson rose from a pair of third-round knockdowns.
Peterson’s subsequent 12th-round stoppage of Victor Cayo in July of 2011 was followed by a disputed split-decision triumph over Amir Khan for his current belt in December, 2011 at The Washington, D.C., Convention Center.
RingTV.com: Can you win a decision in D.C.?
Kendall Holt: Absolutely. There was a big thing made about the Khan fight. A lot of people thought Khan won. But when you have a fight of that magnitude where it’s a very close fight, and a round goes to this guy, and a round goes to that guy.
This guy could have won that round, that guy could have won this round, you really can’t have a discrepancy about the decision, because the fans got what they wanted to see.
It was a great fight, so because you thought your guy should have won, why is there a discrepancy because he didn’t win?
RingTV.com: How do you insure that you win those close rounds?
KH: I can’t insure that the close rounds won’t go to him, because you have to assume that the champion, no matter where they’re fighting at, they’re going to get the benefit of getting the close rounds.
So what I have to do is to make sure that I’m winning the rounds decisively, and if that happens, there shouldn’t be a discrepancy about a decision.
RingTV.com: Are you looking to have similar efforts as those to Garcia and Bradley?
KH: I’ve been learning so much these last few years since being a champion and losing my championship. I’ve just learned a lot more about taking care of my body. I’m a fighter that doesn’t take supplements.
I just learned after my last fight after the weigh-in how to properly re-hydrate. I’ve always been under the preconceived notion that everybody lost weight that way.
I wasn’t groomed or didn’t have anybody teaching me these things. I have been a professional for 12 years, and I’ve only recently learned that these things affect you inside of the ring.
I didn’t have anybody telling me that this is the proper way to lose the weight, and now, you have to re-hydrate. Somebody asked me how I re-hydrated after the Mabuza fight. I had a Gatorade. Didn’t really know about re-hydration.
RingTV.com: What happened in the Mabuza fight?
KH: Camp was bad. I wrestled with the idea of not fighting. That training camp, I was bitter and really didn’t want to fight anymore. I was bitter at the game.
I was bitter at the people who I thought were favored and were making a lot of money that they didn’t deserve when I was making peanuts. So going through training camp, I was going through the motions.
The day before the fight, before the weigh-in, I had to go and get blood taken out through a snow storm. So there was a four-hour drive to the hospital, and a four-hour drive back.
I wasn’t properly re-hydrated. So the mind wasn’t too focused on training, and wasn’t focused on the fight. I second-guessed myself a lot and because of all of those intangibles, the result of the fight was that I lost.
RingTV.com: What sort of fight can we expect?
KH: People are going to see a different Kendall Holt. I’m coming in with a game plan, and I’ve never done that before. I want certain things to happen and I’m going to do certain things to make things happen.
Other things are going to happen, and if they do, I’ll have a backup game plan. I think that from Round One, people are going to see that I haven’t been using everything that I’m equipped with.
I have a lot of different attributes, and, usually, I just punch. Usually I go in and react. People fall down, and I win. But I don’t really set things up.
This fight, I’m going to set things up and make things happen. I have had some good sprints, some good boxing and I am ready to go a good, hard 12 rounds.
Photo by Juan Marshall
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]